Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma Symptoms And


Advanced Mesothelioma Symptoms
Advanced Mesothelioma Symptoms,,,

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that originates in the linings of organs in the chest and abdominal cavities. Statistics from the American Cancer Society show that 2,000 to 3,000 cases of this disease are reported each year in patients after the age of 55. Early indicators typically go undetected; thus diagnosis of mesothelioma usually occurs when the cancer is at an advanced stage.


  1. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can lie dormant for 20 to 40 years before visible symptoms develop. It attacks mesothelial linings that protect organs, occurring around the lungs, abdomen or heart. Mesothelioma is caused by continuous exposure to asbestos fibers: Small, sharp asbestos fibers are inhaled and enter the lung cavity, proceeding to tear at tissue linings in the lungs. Cancerous cells grow within these torn linings and fluid fills the damaged areas. Advanced symptoms of the disease develop as cancerous cells spread to surrounding areas.
  2. Function

  3. Mesothelioma is diagnosed when it has reached an advanced stage. Early symptoms like coughing, difficulty breathing and chest pains are often mistaken for symptoms of other illnesses, like pneumonia. The unusually long incubation period provides ample time for cancerous cell formations to occur throughout the body. As asbestos fibers become lodged within the lungs, they continue to burrow within the chest and abdominal cavities and may enter lymph nodes. Cancerous cells then spread further by following the trail of damaged tissue.
  4. Types

  5. The three types of mesothelioma that proceed to advanced symptoms are pleural, peritoneal and pericardial; within each type, the cancer has reached a malignant stage. The lung cavity is most affected in pleural cases, and possible symptoms of this condition include chest pain, coughing or coughing up blood, swelling of the face and arms and muscle weakness. Peritoneal cases present the most damage in the abdominal area, where swelling, lumps in the abdomen, bowel obstruction, nausea and vomiting and a protruding abdomen can occur. Cancerous cells in pericardial cases are centered within the heart region, and produce coughing, chest pains, heart palpitations and breathing difficulties that progressively worsen.
  6. Stages

  7. Mesothelioma symptoms develop in four stages. Early stages are categorized as localized cancer within one region; in advanced stages, cancer has spread to different areas. Stage I occurs when cancerous cells exist in the lungs, diaphragm or pericardial membrane linings. Stage II occurs when cancer spreads from one of these regions into the lymph node system. Stage III is present in the heart and membrane linings, the wall of the chest and the center of the chest. Stage IV affects other organs outside of the chest and abdomen regions.
  8. Treatment

  9. Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the stage of the cancer. There is no known cure for the disease, and treatments like surgery or chemotherapy are only performed during the early stages of the illness, when removal of malignant growths is still possible. Treatment for advanced stages focuses on palliative methods, that are intended to provide comfort for the patient through symptom relief. Surgery or radiation therapy may be administered in an attempt to reduce fluid build-up and remove cancerous formations from blocked areas. Anti-cancer drugs may also be prescribed.